Pohnpei black pepper has been called the best black pepper in the world. This does not come from official sources, it is personal opinion of people who tried it. What could probably make it the best?
Conditions for growing black pepper is one possibility. Pepper vines need a lot of water to grow. And Pohnpei is one of the wettest places on Earth. Its high level of waterfall, warm temperature and high humidity suits pepper plants. It has been claimed that these conditions help to produce pepper which is high in sugar and volatile oils.
The way pepper is harvested could be another reason. It is hand harvested. The pepper berries are picked when they are fully grown but still green. This ensures that the right berries are picked during harvesting. This reminds me of certain coffee brands like Lavazza. The beans are handpicked, otherwise one ‘bad’ bean could ruin the taste of the whole batch. “One bad apple (pepper) spoils the bunch”.
While conditions for growing pepper is ideal in Pohnpei, there is limited supply. There are not many growers, perhaps just two commercial growers. There is a potential to increase supply, if farmers have a motivation and incentive to do so.
Flame Angel is promoting Pohnpei pepper, to create awareness among consumers and give consumers access to a gourmet product. This will also encourage farmers to increase production. This is needed in remote islands like Pohnpei which have limited income earning opportunities.
Flame Angel visited Pohnpei and met with local businesses, to find ways to secure a supply. Limited stock is now available for purchase online.
Pohnpei is a small producer. It will not compete with larger suppliers like Ethiopia, Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia and India. However the small quantities that it produces is of a premium quality.
The ordering process is not automated. Before placing an order, customers need to email and indicate how much pepper they are interested to purchase. We will then confirm availability from a local supplier and give the customer an indicative timeline when the pepper can be shipped. This is not the most seamless process for ordering but for now that is what it takes to get your hands on one of the best peppers in the world.
Here are selected reviews posted on Amazon:
World’s best pepper
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 11, 2017
The world’s best pepper. Period. It’s expensive and difficult to buy, but worth the effort and expense. Penja, from Cameroon, is not quite as good, but still fantastic. Tellicherry and Malabar are quite good. We have sought Pohnpei pepper since visiting the area 35 years ago, but the Pohnpei government seems to be anti-farmer and interferes in every way with commerce.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 9, 2016
Aromatic, wonderful flavor. Not expensive and buying helps the economy of a relatively small island.
Best in the world
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 21, 2019
I, too, discovered (then) Ponape (now) Pohnpei pepper back when I visited Micronesia in the 70’s . The island plantation was active then but fell into neglect and legal hardships with the new Federation. Till recently only Coconut Villa in Guam could get it, but I thankfully see there is now this reliable source. This, like others say, is the best in the world. It has a sweet nuance that adds to any culinary creation. It has none of the heat of the Ecuador Talamanca or the Indonesian Lampong nor the full fruited body of the Indian Tellicherry or Malabar, but a unique flavor all its own. It is so worth seeking it out.